W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-credentials@w3.org > June 2020

Re: Human readable credentials?

From: Greg Mcverry <jgregmcverry@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 8 Jun 2020 19:54:42 -0400
Message-ID: <CAKCYZhyNfUJDHC+ODt+fZa+4DCHjM53WfF_J3RRCzLF_rE+8vA@mail.gmail.com>
To: daniel.hardman@evernym.com
Cc: Leonard Rosenthol <lrosenth@adobe.com>, Wayne Chang <wyc@fastmail.fm>, W3C Credentials CG <public-credentials@w3.org>
A bit off topic, but I have been fooling around with webmentions and
credentialing using microformats which are both human readable and machine
readable. I dig keeping my content and metadata in one HTML file.

On Mon, Jun 8, 2020 at 4:40 PM Daniel Hardman <daniel.hardman@evernym.com>
wrote:

> > Human-friendly representations are derived from the machine-friendly
>> ones, keeping them in sync
>>
>> >
>>
>> That is most certainly one way to approach the problem.  But it is not
>> the only one.  For example, I can show you how to deterministically produce
>> a machine readable representation from a human-friendly one.
>>
>
> Agreed. I wasn't claiming otherwise. What makes either approach helpful is
> that the correspondence is guaranteed.
>
>
>> > Putting a B64 encoded block into a valid credential is not introducing
>> a lot of new risk if the processing entity for that chunk is still
>> software.
>>
>> >
>>
>> Sorry but I have to disagree with you on that one.  If one processor
>> knows how to decode that B64 block and present it and another processor
>> does not – which is perfectly acceptable since I can have custom contexts
>> in my VC’s – then you have the same situation you have pointed out.
>>
>
> You are correct. I was assuming it was the *same* software interpreting
> both parts.
>
>
>> > The problem arises when there are two potentially divergent
>> representations, and the two processing entities are disjoint. *That* is an
>> exploitable gap.
>>
>> >
>>
>> That is **ONLY** an exploitable gap **IF** the two representations are
>> physically separate from each other **AND** not signed/sealed together.
>> However, if the two are signed as a single entity, then you can’t modify
>> one w/o invalidating the other, the preventing any form of exploit.
>>
>
> This seems to contradict your previous statement "If one processor knows
> how to decode... and another processor does not...". Physical separation
> isn't what creates the gap, as you pointed out. The problem is different
> and independent processing. This could happen even if two representations
> are in the same physical file and signed as a unit (your example about
> custom contexts).
>
>>

-- 
J. Gregory McVerry, PhD
Assistant Professor
Southern Connecticut State University
twitter: jgmac1106
Received on Tuesday, 9 June 2020 10:44:50 UTC

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